Study uses 10,000 data points to locate urban heat islands in Cincinnati

A new study funded by the NOAA locates heat islands in the city of Cincinnati.
A new study funded by the NOAA locates heat islands in the city of Cincinnati.(WXIX)
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 7:48 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Heat is the number-one weather-related killer, and in cities it’s even worse.

Earlier this month a study collected 10,000 data points around the city of Cincinnati to determine which locations are hotter and which are cooler. They will use that information to keep people safe and move forward with development.

“At its core this is a public-health safety issue,” City of Cincinnati Sustainability Coordinator Oliver Kroner said.

A study funded by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used street scientists to drive or bike around town to collect temperature data.

These volunteers took the same route, three times in the same day: once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once in the evening.

“During major heat events, people with asthma or respiratory issues can experience conditions that can threaten their life,” Kroner explained. “So we’re trying to understand where this is happening across Cincinnati, where these urban heat islands are being created by the design of our built environment.

“We have what is called the Green Cincinnati Plan. It’s our playbook for addressing climate issues and for planning for the future. We anticipate hotter temperatures moving forward. So we can see, well, we have people living in these areas of extreme heat, what can we do about it?”

The study will also show where the city may need more green space, like parks, or removing or whitewashing large areas of black asphalt or dark roof surfaces (low albedo surfaces).

Other solutions may include increasing natural airflow through hot neighborhoods.

The data could also tell them where to install a public pool, a splash pad or a cooling shelter.

The results of the study should be released soon but you can learn more at this website.

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